News of the Week
Observations About Some Things That Caught My Eye
Well, What Do You Care, Your Lives Are Over
So in all the years I have played in bands I never once got into a bar fight. And I still haven’t but last week I came close. My wife and I were at a bar and we became friendly with another couple. They were from England and Australia respectively.
On the corner of the bar was a very loud and obnoxius man talking to his friend rather obscenely on the phone. He was also a good eavesdropper.
Our new friends asked a simple question - How do you think your president is doing? Let me first preface. My wife is Democrat. I am a registered Republican. I vote on issues and character. I did not vote for Trump. We started to tell our friends that given all of the circumstances he was doing a decent job. That was all it took and our obnoxious friend was in our face saying how the president is starting a cold war. And on and on. Obviously a Trump supporter. That is OK.
One of our new friends is a high court judge who has prosecuted Rawanda genocide trials. He thought this gentlemen was “interesting” and tried to do what judges do best - debate in a civil way the two sides of the issue.
The fact was my wife and I could not open our mouths to engage in a civil conversation because the whole next two hours became about all of this man’s amazing accomplishments in life, complete with having to show us pictures. Claimed he was the private pilot for a major league baseball owner. Claimed he piloted an ex-president around on occasion though he disliked him.
The thing is he spent all the time yelling his point of view at us. He turned to my wife and I and said at one point - Well, What Do You Care, Your Lives Are Over. That was my first almost jump off the bar stool moment.
Then he called our Australian friend a Karen and a child of white privilege. I thought he was saying that to my wife so that was my almost second leap off the stool.
And it went on like that.
Having two points of view is fine as long as you can talk about it. Don’t be obnoxious. Stop trying to prove your manhood (in this case).
When you know nothing about the other people’s lives, you can’t make a ageist statement that our lives are over. My wife and I are in our sixties. He was in his fifties. You know how much I write about accomplished older people, many who did not come into their prime until they were older. I am not going to blather about my wife’s and my accomplishments but what I will say is that we came from blue collar families. My mom was on food stamps at one point. Don’t pretend to think that because we are doing well now that it was always that way.
The encounter was both frightening and exhilarating, particularly as our judge friend tried to throw logic and reason into the situation. Hey, I’m a white guy but I think a nice one. Is there a “Karen” equivalent for men because this guy fit the bill. The good thing that came out of it is that we now have some incredibly interesting new friends from over the pond and over the ocean.
Identical twins turn 100, reflect on life of ‘scandal’ and joy: ‘People love that we’re still together’
From WAPO - Each Thursday morning, Norma Matthews and her twin sister, Edith Antoncecchi, carefully style their hair and sometimes put on coordinating outfits. Then they catch a lift to a church in St. Petersburg, Fla., for the Golden Heirs musical hour for seniors.
They go for the coffee and doughnuts, as well as to hear the music they know by heart, Norma said, but they also soak up the fuss people make over them. “People love that we’re still together,” Norma said. “We’ve done everything together since the day we were born.”
Observation - yeah, well, I guess their lives are over too!
Dementia linked to premature menopause for women, study says
From CNN - Entering menopause before age 40 is linked to a 35% higher risk of developing dementia later in life, a preliminary study finds.
Premature menopause, as it is called, occurs when a woman's ovaries stop creating hormones and the menstrual cycle ends by age 40. That's about a dozen years earlier than the typical onset of menopause, which is age 52 in the United States, according to the US Department of Health and Human Service's Office on Women's Health.
According to the lead researcher, there are a number of ways women who experience early menopause may be able to reduce their risk of cognitive decline, including routine exercise, participation in leisure and educational activities, not smoking and not drinking alcohol (and) maintaining a healthy weight.”
Observation - seems like most study conclusions come down to diet, exercise, socialization and sleep.
Artist Shirley Woodson's bold strokes
From CBS Sunday Morning Show - There's a lot going on in Shirley Woodson's vivid paintings. And at 85, this artist and former schoolteacher is being celebrated with her first one-woman show at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Observation - I guess her life is not over either. Sensing a theme?
2,720 acts of kindness
From McKnights - Waltonwood senior living communities completed 2,720 acts of kindness during February as part of a company-wide effort inspired by National Random Acts of Kindness Day, Feb. 17.
Some examples of acts carried out during the month:
Waltonwood University Executive Director Jonathan Hills cleared snow off of staff members’ cars before the end of work to save them time and warmth.
Waltonwood Royal Oak in Detroit made dog treats for Detroit Dog Rescue.
Observation - We need more of this!
Older Singles Have Found a New Way to Partner Up: Living Apart
From NYT - Fearing that a romantic attachment in later life will lead to full-time caregiving, many couples are choosing commitment without sharing a home.
Observation - The article goes on to say that part of the reason, selfishly or not, is that people, who have probably been caregivers already, do not want to go through that pain again.
Pickleball mania leading to an epidemic of injuries among baby boomers
Pickleball has been billed as a more accessible and a less intense tennis alternative, but experts say the popular pastime is still leading to a rash of injuries amongst the senior set. “Obsessed” retirees are playing several hours per day, leading to overuse injuries. The older demo is also more likely to have weak bones, putting them at a greater risk for fractures.
“Five years ago, pickleball wasn’t even something on the radar, but now injuries from it are common in that over-55, over-60 population,” Dr. Samir Mehta, chief of orthopedic trauma and fracture care at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, told The Post. “It’s a real phenomenon.”
Observation - My wife is a fanatic. I like it but do not play as often. We have seen friends take spills and one had a serious ACL injury that has put him out for almost a year. Yes, it’s an easier court to maneuver but you still need to be careful. Here is a segment we did on Charlotte Today about pickleball.